To the Editor:
Gun-related death rates in the United States are eight times higher than they are in all other comparable developed nations. Is there something in our water? Why are we so different?
Our gun culture is unique from all other industrialized nations, and it is this culture that’s at the root of our problem. Since our founding, the U.S. has had an unholy connection with guns that, for the majority of Americans, is an ethos of the individualistic right to own and bear arms for security and freedom. We need to change that, for there is no evidence that guns provide either.
Assault rifles and handguns are designed to be dangerous, to be deadly. Societies regulate things that can lead to dangerous and deadly behaviors. Traffic safety laws, criminal justice laws, drug laws, health and security laws are in place for the greater societal good.
Our gun culture is combined with an exploitive, violently toxic entertainment industry, a Washington political system that is beholden and threatened by a powerful gunlobby, diminished mental health access, dysfunctional family units, and a brainwashed gun-accepting body politic – an unfortunate mix.
There are no simple answers to this a complex menagerie.
Our politicians must start to introduce sensible gun regulation that can start a change in our societal mind-set and begin to alter our collective psyche away from the acceptance of guns as benign objects.
Until we change our minds about guns, we won’t change what guns are doing to us.